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A new start for the Italian National Observatory on the Condition of Persons with Disabilities

On 24 January 2019 the Italian National Observatory on the Condition of Persons with Disabilities was re-initiated by the Italian government (in the presence of the Minister for Family and Disability)), in the presence of COFACE Administrative Council member Gaetano Santonocito, representing the Italian Association for Spastic Care (AIAS).

The Observatory was established in 2009, as an independent institution providing a scientific-technical support and counselling to national policies on disability. Its main objectives are the promotion and implementation of the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the drafting of biannual action plans for the promotion of rights and social inclusion of persons with disabilities, data collection and reporting on disability policies. In order to aptly address all the different issues, the Observatory constituted eight working groups, divided as follows:

–    Group 1: recognition and multidimensional evaluation of disability,
–    Group 2: independent living and empowerment,
–    Group 3: right to life and health,
–    Group 4: inclusive education and VET,
–    Group 5: social protection and employment,
–    Group 6: accessibility and Universal design,
–    Group 7: international cooperation and international protection of disability policies,
–    Group 8: reporting and data collection.

The work of the Observatory will be followed closely by the undersecretary Vincenzo Zoccano who underlined that disability has returned to the political agenda. A representative of civil society, Gian Piero Griffo, member of Disability Peoples’ International (DPI) and president of the Italian Network of Disability and Development (RIDS) was appointed coordinator of the Scientific and Technical Committee. All representatives ensured continuity with the work previously made by the Observatory.  Gaetano Santonocito, permanent member of the Observatory on behalf of AIAS, during his private meeting with the Minister ensured a constructive participation of AIAS to the future work of the Observatory and of its working groups.

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